The conductor Alberto Angelini at work with Karma
A course on "Training and management of Anti-poison Dog Units" has been held in the Gran Sasso-Laga National Park On 14 and 15 June 2012, a course on the training and management of Anti-poison Dog Units was held in the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park; it aimed at encouraging the use of dog units specialized in finding poison in other areas of Italy.
The stage, which followed a first course held in 2011, saw the participation of volunteer guards, trainers, breeders, veterinary physicians, officers of the Italian State Forestry Corps and members of the FNATI (National Federation of the Italian Associations of Truffle hunters).
A theoretical session has provided hints about the current regulations, the LIFE ANTIDOTO project, the activity and results of the Dog Units of the Gran Sasso-Laga National Park and, finally, indications on the training of dog units for research of poison (how to carry out dog training and field inspections, identifying toxic substances, etc.).
Most of the two days of work was devoted to practical sessions, which involved five dogs from the two Anti-poison Dog Units of the Gran Sasso-Laga National Park, and their two conductors, Alberto Angelini (Gran Sasso-Laga National Park staff) and Alessandra Mango (Superintendent of the Territorial Coordination for the Environment of the Italian State Forestry Corps).
A valuable input regarding the training techniques of the dogs in the search of poison has been provided by the trainer Barco Victor Díaz, conductor of the Anti-poison Dog Unit that operates in Aragon since 2011; Aragon's Unit is managed by the public enterprise Sodemasa and the Gobierno de Aragón, both partners of ANTIDOTO. The stay of the Spanish conductor in the Gran Sasso-Laga National park has also allowed a fruitful exchange of experiences with the two conductors of the Italian units.
The training course was attended by two Tuscan breeders/trainers, Giacomo Guarguaglini and Alessandro Poggini, who started the training of two dogs for the search of poison after having participated to the course held in the Gran Sasso-Laga National Park in 2011. The two breeders were able to make their dogs work under the supervision of the conductors of ANTIDOTO Dog Units, check their progress and receive precise instructions for the continuation of the training.
The two breeders, who come from the provinces of Pisa and Arezzo, are willing to activate two Anti-poison Dog Units in Tuscany, under the association DAW Dog At Work, counting also on the support of ANTIDOTO’s staff.
The theoretical session of the course
Monica di Francesco during her speech
Alessandra Mango during her speech
Victor Barco Díaz during his speech
Victor with Ira, a belgian shepherd malinois in the training phase for search of poison
Practical session of the anti-poison dogs training
Maya with its prize for finding a poisoned mouthful
Victor while training Ira
Course participants attend a training session
Jonai with its prize
Maya finds a poisoned mouthful placed at the top of a pole
Maya indicating a poisoned mouthful placed at the top of a pole
The conductors Alessandra Mango and Victor Barco Díaz at work with Jonai